Vegetable Garden

Lettuce… how many should I plant?

May 14, 2011

I’m sure many of us starting out made the mistake of sowing all the lettuce seeds in the pack.

However, after years of growing this humble little salad crop I think I’ve finally sussed it. Six plants. Six little seeds of a loose leafed, cut and come variety is all a lettuce eating family needs… to be truthful we could probably get away with four. Four tiny seeds from a pack of 150 costing €2.50. If my maths are correct that’s just over one and a half cent per lettuce head.

There are many reasons for growing your own food but surely that alone makes it worthwhile?

Frilly little lettuce plants interplanted with colourful flowers look quite pretty in a window box too. Once the seeds have been sown (which takes a couple of minutes) all you have to do is remember to water them. That’s it. Once the plants have started to grow just plant another four (and so on) to keep your crop going.

The lettuce I’ve sown here is a cut and come variety (meaning you just pick the leaves as you need them, or snip the tops of with scissors rather than harvesting the whole plant).

These were planted in the polytunnel at the end of February. They grow well outdoors but you’d have to cover them with a cloche if you wanted to start them that early.

My favourites are the packets of mixed salad leaf varieties as they come in all colours, shapes and sizes.

By the way… slugs love lettuce, so it’s always a good idea to sow a few extra (one for the slug, one for the snail, one to eat and one to fail).  However, I’d planted marigolds (tagetes) next to these and not a single leaf was nibbled (the marigolds were just stalks though!)

So if you’ve never grown any veg before, why not give lettuce a go and then you’ll always have a bit of greenery to add to your sarnie at lunchtime.


  • Reply What can I grow in my small vegetable garden? - Greenside Up September 30, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    […] & come again lettuce or salad leaves – there are lots of varieties of lettuce that the leaves are plucked off as you want them […]

  • Reply preciouspen1955 February 15, 2015 at 4:12 am

    Wow so happy I found your blog, just love the way you explain everything I am making some no dig beds at the moment in the garden , and welcome any advise you may have , I am struggling a bit with pruning , have a few lovely rose bushes and one of them has large seed pods at the moment, should these be cut away , is there an easy way to learn how to prune fruit trees and rose trees, my garden challenge is to sow as many trees as possible and to have plenty of veg and flowers growing here , I am employing the no dig theory as much as possible as the area is too large and rough to dig by hand , well rotted manure is the item I shall be trying to source this week , I am a newbie gardener so I welcome advise on any aspect of my challenge. I try to read a lot of articles on the different methods used however sometimes it all gets confusing , but your site here explains thing really well thanks for sharing your blog looking forward to reading and learning more as I browse through. Kind regards and happy gardening. Kathy.

    • Reply Dee Sewell February 16, 2015 at 11:23 am

      Thanks so much for commenting Kathy and glad you’ve found the blog of help. Charles Dowding has written a couple of good books about No Dig gardening and I don’t currently have any posts here about pruning so would advise taking a look here for roses and here for fruit trees which will give you more of an immediate answer. Let me know if there’s anything in particular about vegetable growing I can help with and I’ll do my best 🙂

      • Reply preciouspen1955 February 18, 2015 at 2:12 am

        Thanks for the great links, I bought one rhubarb stool today, they tell me in the shop that after planting just leave it for 2 years and then I can harvest it , how many do you think I should plant in order to get a good harvest , love to make rhubarb pies so hope to get some more would 3 more plants be sufficient do you think.

        • Reply Dee Sewell February 20, 2015 at 12:11 pm

          Three should be fine Kathy and if it gets too much you can get rid of one and if not enough, divide them 🙂


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